Chief Of Station

Chief Of Station
Chief Of Station
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Spy movies can be a hit or miss. Depending on the simplicity or complexity of the movie, it can make or break it. For every Mission Impossible film with Tom Cruise’s high-octane death wish stunts, there are also films that are either too complex to fully understand or so predictable that you are left wondering why they ever made it to your screen. In his latest film Chief of Station, director (and a former stunt coordinator) Jessee V Johnson tries to strike a balance between these two extremes in spy thrillers by making spy thriller into solving murder case and finding out how deep the conspiracy goes.

The wife of Ben Malloy (Aaron Eckhart) who is an ex-CIA station chief and Farrah (Laëtitia Eïdo) who is also a CIA agent dies in front of him during their date from some strange explosion but he knows this was not accidental because they both exist in the world of espionage. Why is everyone else trying to cover up her death as well as sacrifice her? Consequently, he becomes a rogue person after seeking why she died, who was likely to benefit from her death and what caused her demise.

Right from the start Chief of Station grips us with an opening scene that demonstrates how intricate tracking targets can be and ensuring that each package drop goes according to plan otherwise their prey will probably escape. This feels like 80s–90s spy movies with all that Cold War paranoia between US and Russia, nowadays political climate has almost another red scare; hence timely again in some aspects. Soon after Ben reveals some of his spycrafting skills, his wife dies and he then decides to unravel mysteries concerning her death. So he leaves America for Hungary where he gets re-engaged into spying.

Being a former Station Chief, Ben possesses “a particular set of skills which makes him” someone very dangerous if you cross paths with him. Anything from entering a high-stakes poker game to beating anyone up who gets in his way, Ben does to prove that his wife was not a dirty rogue spy. At the same time, Ben and Nick (Chris Petrovski), his son have become estranged from each other since the demise of Malloy’s wife. This means he can be off there doing spy things while he tries to reconnect with Nick. However, big baddies also bring Nick into the mess.

There are many twists and turns in Chief of Station as one may lose count through all these betrayals within the spy world. Here come the bad guys, or rather it is only now that they are revealed. Which you guessed twenty minutes into this film and so it looks like our hero is on an island unto himself… Fortunately for him, one of his wife’s former assets (Olga Kurylenko) appears on the scene proving to be just as badass if not more so. She helps him turn countless shootouts as well as plenty of hand-to-hand combats staged just for him to save everything in time.

Jesse V. Johnson, the director is a former stunt coordinator but many scenes in Chief of Station do not work because of stunts and choreography. There are more than several instances where fight has been fast forwarded to make action seem realer a little. When it comes to car chases, the fighting scenes are okay and some of them are really successful. Unfortunately, the problem with Chief of Station involves script as it is predictable from miles away. It doesn’t look like an action film from the 90s as it should have been therefore this version does not meet the requirements for effectiveness either. However Aaron Eckhart’s performance is admirable; he tries his best and so do a number of other minor actors such as Olga Kurylenko.

Chief of Station mostly works well and is entertaining particularly when seen through Aaron Eckhart playing Liam Neeson (but better). Some parts have good action but generally, weak writing results in demands that were never met by the movie. If you like Tom Clancy type flicks, then Chief of Station might be your cup of tea

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